Dave Mason – Headkeeper (1972)

FrontCover1.jpgHeadkeeper is a 1972 album by Dave Mason. Originally released on Blue Thumb Records as Blue Thumb 34 (a subsidiary of Famous Music Group), Headkeeper was reissued by MCA Records as MCA 712, then reissued on CD in 1988 as MCAD-31326).

In late 1971, Mason began recording Headkeeper. He envisioned a double album with one disk containing new studio recordings and the other live recordings with his new band. The live tracks had been recorded at some highly regarded dates at the Troubadour club in Los Angeles.

Mason thought that since he was Blue Thumb’s most successful artist, they should renegotiate his contract. When they refused, he slipped into the studio and took the master tapes of the recordings made to date.

Producer Tommy LiPuma then assembled an album from two-track safety masters that Mason did not take which Blue Thumb released. Mason publicly denounced the release as a “bootleg”.

Mason eventually signed a deal with Columbia Records who bought out his Blue Thumb contract.

Blue Thumb issued Dave Mason Is Alive in 1973 with remaining tracks from the Troubadour set. (by wikipedia)


Dave Mason’s solo career, which had started so promisingly with Alone Together in 1970 and taken an odd, but pleasant detour with Dave Mason & Cass Elliot in 1971, hit a speed bump in 1972, when he entered into a dispute with his record label, Blue Thumb during preparations for a new album. As a result, Blue Thumb put together the half-a-studio-album Mason had completed with half of a live album and issued the consumer-confusing Headkeeper, which Mason denounced publicly and asked fans not to buy! Heard today, it’s still a confusing album, though the first five tracks are enjoyable music in the manner of Alone Together and the last five are well-performed concert versions of such favorites as “Feelin’ Alright?” and “Pearly Queen.” (by William Ruhlmann)


Felix “Flaco” Falcon (percussion)
Rick Jaeger (drums)
Mark Jordan (keyboards)
Dave Mason (guitar, vocals)
Lonnie Turner (bass)
background vocals:
Rita Coolidge – Spencer Davis – Kathi McDonald – Graham Nash


In the studio:
01. To Be Free (Mason) 3.17
02. In My Mind (Mason) 3.15
03. Here We Go Again” – 1:56
04. A Heartache, A Shadow, A Lifetime (Mason) 3.34
05. Headkeeper (Mason) 4.37

Live recordings:

06. Pearly Queen (Capaldi/Winwood) 3.35
07. Just A Song (Mason) 3.00
08. World In Changes (Mason) 4.47
09. Can’t Stop Worrying, Can’t Stop Loving (Mason) 3.02
10. Feelin’ Alright (Mason) 5.44




Dave Mason – Alone Together (1970)

FrontCover1Alone Together is the debut solo album by former Traffic member Dave Mason, released in 1970. Mason was joined on the album by a roster of guest musicians, including Bonnie Bramlett, Leon Russell, Jim Capaldi, Rita Coolidge, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon. The song “Only You Know and I Know” reached number #42 on the Billboard charts in the US and was the record’s major commercial success.

About 30% of the records were produced in so-called marble vinyl,[citation needed] a swirled mix of pink, brown and beige, rather than the usual black vinyl.[3] The original record jacket is a tri-fold with a half-pocket on the inside to hold the record (originally issued without a paper inner sleeve). The top of the tri-fold has a die-cut image of Mason in a top hat, collaged behind a rocky outcrop, and there is a small die-cut hole at the top to permit the jacket to be hung on the wall as a poster.


Dave Mason’s first solo album was one of several recordings to come out of the Leon Russell/Delaney & Bonnie axis in 1970. (Other notables included Eric Clapton’s solo debut and Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen.) Alone Together contains an excellent batch of melodically pleasing songs, built on a fat bed of strumming acoustic guitars with tasteful electric guitar accents and leads. Mason’s vocals are embellished with harmonies from Rita Coolidge, Claudia Lennear, and Delaney & Bonnie.

Besides the well-known semi-hit “Only You Know and I Know,” and which was also a number 20 hit for Delaney & Bonnie, highlights include the bouncy gospel-inflected “Waitin’ on You” and the banjo-bejeweled “Just a Song.” “Look at You Look at Me” and the wonderfully wah-wahed “Shouldn’t Have Took More Than You Gave” are reminiscent of Mason’s former band, Traffic, whose drummer, Jim Capaldi is among the all-star cast assembled here. Alone Together represents Dave Mason at his peak. Later releases would betray lyrical shallowness, forced rhymes, and clichéd guitar licks. But here, everything comes together perfectly. The original vinyl release of Alone Together was also noteworthy for the marble grain of the record itself — as the record played on the turntable, the tone arm appeared to be floating through the clouds. (by Jim Newsom)


John Barbata (drums)
Jim Capaldi (drums)
Michael DeTemple (guitar)
Chris Ethridge (bass)
Jim Gordon (drums)
Jim Keltner (drums)
Larry Knechtel (bass)
Dave Mason (guitar, vocals)
Don Preston (keyboards)
Carl Radle (bass)
Leon Russell (keyboards)
John Simon (keyboards)
background vocals:
Bonnie Bramlett – Rita Coolidge – Mike Coolidge – Claudia Lennear – Lou Cooper – Bob Norwood – Jack Storti


01. Only You Know And I Know (Mason) 4.07
02. Can’t Stop Worrying, Can’t Stop Loving (Mason) 3.03
03. Waitin’ On You (Mason) 3.03
04. Shouldn’t Have Took More Than You Gave (Mason) 6.01
05. World In Changes (Mason) 4.32
06. Sad And Deep As You (Mason) 3.36
07. Just A Song (Mason) 3.01
08. Look At You Look At Me (Mason/Capaldi) 7.38



One of the finest songs, Dave Mason ever written:

Lips that are as warm could be
Lips that speak too soon
Lips that tell a story
Sad and deep as you

Smile that’s warm as summer sun
Smile that gets you through
Smile that tells a story
Sad and deep as you

Eyes that are the windows
Eyes that are the view
Eyes that tell a story
Sad and deep as you

Tears that are unspoked words
Tears that are the truth
Tears that tell a story
Sad and deep as you

Dave Mason – California Jam II (1978)

FrontCover1One of the best performances from this memorable event was delivered by Dave Mason, who was then riding the crest of one of his most successful albums, Let It Flow which had been released the previous year and spawned no less than three charting singles, including “We Just Disagree,” his biggest hit to date. By this point in his career, Mason had established quite the pedigree, having been a founding member of Traffic, a traveling member of Delaney & Bonnie’s road band and having recorded and shared the stage with some of the most high profile Los Angeles musicians, including Mama Cass Elliot and Crosby, Stills and Nash, who all helped champion his music.

By 1978, when this performance was recorded, Mason had assembled a well-seasoned band that featured his longtime guitar playing partner, Jim Krueger on second guitar and one of the era’s most talented keyboard players, Mike Finnigan, who had played on countless sessions, including Jimi Hendrix’s classic Electric Ladyland album, on which Mason also contributed (Mason played the acoustic guitar on “All Along The Watchtower” and Finnigan played organ on “Rainy Day, Dream Away”). With the tight rhythm section of Gerald Johnson and Rick Jaeger on board, Mason’s band was a force to be reckoned with.


Mike Finnigan (keyboards, vocals)
Rick Jaeger (drums)
Gerald Johnson (bass, vocals)
Jim Krueger (vocals, guitar, vocals)
Dave Mason (vocals, guitar)

Alternate front + backcover:


01. Introduction 0.55
02. Feelin’ Alright (Mason) 5.04
03. Pearly Queen (Winwood/Capaldi) 4.08
04. Let It Go, Let It Flow (Mason) 3.34
05. Look At You, Look At Me (Mason/Capaldi) 7.12
06. We Just Disagree (Krueger) 3.20
07. So High (Rock Me Baby And Roll Me Away) (Williams/Conrad) 5.09
08. Taking The Time To Find (Mason) 6.25
09. All Along The Watchtower (Dylan) 2.27
10. Gimme Some Lovin’ (S.Winwood/M.Winwood/Davis) 10.05
11. California Jam II (1978) (complete show – uncut version) 49.45


Dave Mason & Cass Elliott – Same (1972)

FrontCover1When Dave Mason left Traffic he produced a number of strong albums fresh out of the gate. “Alone Together”, “It’s Like You Never Left” and “Dave Mason” among many other gems. This terrific album is also part of that set of classic releases. Recorded just after he left Blue Thumb Records over a contract dispute (it would take some years and a bankruptcy to free him from the label). Featuring Cass Elliott on harmony vocals, Mason turns in some of his best material and guitar playing on this terrifc album. Cass appears as lead vocalist on her lone songwriting contribution “Here We Go Again” and its a reminder of what a terrific vocalist she was. She and Mason should have continued on as they generate magic on this terrific album.

This is one of Mason’s finest albums and it’s interesting to compare this along with his first solo album to the albums by Traffic after he left–they were on somewhat similar roads musically but its quite clear why Mason’s vision for the band conflicted with Winwoods with Mason relying much more on traditional song structure vs. more jamming approach of Winwood’s efforts with his band.  (by Wayne Klein)

Dave Mason, live 1971

Well, I bought the original Elliot/Mason band album in 1971.I could never stop listen to it.It’s always fantastic.The combination of the two voices could not be better.She only sings lead in two tracks: Something To Make You Happy which is a pretty good tune wrote by her and Dave Mason and Here we go again ,wrote by her and Bryan Garo.Since Wild Women, from the The Big Three,it’s the first time Cass co-write songs for her albuns.The vocal structure it’s almost the same as it used to be in the Mamas & Papas albuns, the group sung together most of the songs,and Cass does only two solos. Songs like On & On in which Cass made her superb backing vocals,as well as Pleasing You, Sit & Wonder and Next To You, has always been my home soundtrack.The duet between her voice and Mason’s acoustic guitar solo in Glittering Facade it’s rhythmcally incredible.It’s a great CD and it’s a pitty that MCA doesn’t release the tapes from the concert that The Elliot/Mason Band did in 1971 at Winterland,San Francisco, as a Collector’s item. (by Celso Eduardo Franco)

Cass Elliott (vocals)
Bryan Garofalo (bass)
Paul Harris (keyboards, strings)
Russ Kunkel (drums)
Dave Mason (guitar, vocals)

01. Walk To The Point (Mason) 4.00
02. On And On (Doheny) 3.35
03. To Be Free (Mason) 3.34
04. Here We Go Again (Garofalo/Elliott) 2.49
05. Pleasing You (Juster Written/Mason) 3.02
06. Sit And Wonder (Mason) 3.30
07. Something To Make You Happy (Elliott/Mason) 2.15
08. Too Much Truth, Too Much Love (Mason) 3.49
09 .Next To You (Garofalo) 2.31
10. Glittering Facade (Mason) 4.45